A Perfect Holiday Dinner

Thanksgiving menu:
Roast Chicken*
Orange-ginger Cranberry Sauce*
Maple-thyme Squash*
Mashed Potatoes and Pan Gravy
Jellied Waldorf Salad*
Pumpkin Pie*

*click for recipe

This is the perfect holiday dinner for a couple or a small family: my virtually foolproof roast chicken with homemade cranberry sauce, maple-thyme squash, and a lightened-up pumpkin pie. All you need to round out the menu is, of course, some mashed potatoes to catch the pan gravy. (Bonus points if you make a gravy volcano.)

You might also want to switch out the jellied salad for a standard (boring) lettuce-based salad. But, if you’re feeling adventurous and/or want a trip back to the 70s, a jellied waldorf is a MUST. It’s equal parts jiggle and nostalgia, served up with a dollop of mayo!

top view of baked chicken in cast iron skillet with rosemary

If you have never roasted a whole chicken, now’s your chance. It’s dead-easy and, honestly, few things will give you a better feeling of accomplishment or make you look more like a domestic goddess. (This is why hundreds, if not thousands, of women have found themselves getting engaged within minutes of pulling a hot, crispy chicken from the oven. It messes with people’s minds or something.)

Same goes for the pie. Now’s as good a time as any to try your hand at making pastry. If you must, you can use a pre-made pie crust, but make sure you juj it up a little if you’re going to pass it off as your own. Hot tip: but the 2-pack of crusts and use the second crust to make the decorative, sugared cut outs.

And, I suppose you could buy a can of cranberry sauce – no judgement there – but will you at least consider whipping up a batch of my orange-ginger cranberry sauce? The recipe makes enough for dinner and then some. Use the leftovers in sandwiches… or with your next cheeseboard… or dabbed on a flatbread with leftover chicken and brie… mmm, brie.

Above all, have fun, use the good plates and enjoy the long weekend.

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